Cinnamon tea is a warm and spicy beverage that tastes like Christmas.
Plus, it makes the whole house smell amazing when you brew a fresh cup.
Cinnamon tea is a tisane, or herbal tea, made by steeping cinnamon bark in hot water. It’s typically made with cinnamon sticks, cinnamon powder, or cinnamon extract.
Cinnamon is a woody, earthy spice, which lends a warm, slightly spicy, and subtly sweet flavor. Cinnamon tea is naturally caffeine-free, making it the perfect, cozy drink to enjoy at night before bed (or while snuggled up by the fire)!
Different countries have unique ways of preparing this comforting tea. In India, cinnamon is mixed with black tea and warming spices like ginger, cloves, black pepper, and cardamom to make traditional “masala chai.” In Korea, cinnamon tea, or “gyep-cha,” is brewed with ginger tea, sweetened with honey, and garnished with jujubes.
In this article, we’ll explore the history and health benefits of this aromatic spice — plus, we’ll show you how to make cinnamon tea at home!
The History of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a common spice in the modern kitchen, but there was a time when it was more than 15 times more costly than silver! Only wealthy Europeans could afford cinnamon during the 1st century A.D. before major trade routes into Asia were established. Before that, cinnamon was prized by Egyptians for embalming and used by Moses in the Bible for anointing oil.
“Cinnamon holds high significance in ancient Ayurvedic treatments for possessing healing benefits for numerous health issues,” said Jolene Caufield, a Master of Science in Professional Health Studies and Oriental Medicine and Senior Advisor at Healthy Howard. “But it’s an age-long ingredient that’s revered for its unique taste and rare quantity which caused Southeast Asian cultures to view it as a holy commodity that can treat almost all illnesses.”
Of course, we can’t talk about cinnamon without recognizing its thousands of years of use in Traditional Chinese Herbalism. In fact, the use of pure “Chinese” (cassia) cinnamon in herbalism dates back to 3000 B.C.E.
In traditional herbalism, cinnamon is recommended for various health reasons, including improved circulation, pain management, and support for the respiratory system. It’s also used for more specific problems, such as arthritic pain, bladder infections, dizziness, and reduced appetite.
Traditional Chinese Herbalism emphasizes the concept of yin and yang, or the balance of opposite forces to maintain harmony with the universe. Cinnamon fits in with that principle by having an energizing effect on the body, which counteracts an excess of dark yin energy. It is believed to help remove the feeling of coldness from the body.
What is Cinnamon Made From?
Cinnamon is made from dried bark cultivated from evergreen trees belonging to the genus Cinnamomum native to South and Southeast Asia. While there are hundreds of different kinds of cinnamon, only two are used for their medicinal and culinary properties: cassia and ceylon.
- Ceylon cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum): Ceylon cinnamon comes from Sri Lanka and is sometimes called “true cinnamon.” It has a soft and sweet flavor profile and works well for culinary uses. Ceylon cinnamon sticks consist of multiple thin layers of soft rolled bark and are medium-brown in color.
- Cassia cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): Cassia includes three regional varieties of cinnamon, including cassia (Chinese cinnamon), korintje (Indonesian cinnamon), and saigon (Vietnamese cinnamon). They differ only slightly in color and taste and have a more spicy, intense flavor than ceylon. Cassia cinnamon sticks are brownish-red in color and are made of a single, thick layer of rolled bark.
Let’s dive into the health benefits of cinnamon.
Health Benefits of Cinnamon Tea
Cinnamon has a long list of beneficial health effects, making it an enticing addition to a wellness routine. According to Jessica Meyers, a licensed Physician Assistant, functional health consultant, and Clinical Herbalist, cinnamon is useful for people with diabetes or those who experience periodic high blood sugar. Studies have shown that 1 to 6 grams of the spice can effectively lower blood sugar through interaction with insulin receptors.
Cinnamon also has a long history of use in gynecology, backed up by modern studies. “Cinnamon can help ease painful menstrual periods and regulate cycles in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome,” Meyers said. “Just 0.5 -1 gram of cinnamon powder two to three times a day has been shown to be effective for these conditions.”
Cinnamon is loaded with polyphenols and antioxidants, too. Antioxidant activity aids in protecting the body from the damaging effects of oxidative stress and free radicals and contain anti-inflammatory properties that support brain function and heart health. Polyphenols help inhibit the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGE), which can harm cells.
On board with the many health benefits of cinnamon yet? Let’s learn how to brew this wholesome spice into a tea.
How to Make Cinnamon Tea: 3 Spiced Recipes
Making cinnamon tea is simple and delicious. Just keep a few cinnamon sticks on hand, and you’ll be ready to enjoy this comforting drink anytime. Optional: Get creative and add other invigorating spices to your brew!
Classic Cinnamon Tea Recipe
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1. Boil water and add cinnamon. Enjoy! This health-promoting beverage is decaffeinated and gluten-free.
Ayurveda Hot Spiced Ginger Cinnamon Tea
Recipe by Abby Rosehill, Holistic Aryuveda Skincare Specialist
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Fresh ginger (to taste)
- Splash of rose water
- Sprinkle of organic nutmeg
- Sprinkle of black pepper
- Sprinkle of organic turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp organic cold-pressed coconut oil
- 1 tsp coconut blossom
1. Add the cinnamon to a mug of boiled water.
2. Mix the rose water, organic nutmeg, black pepper, and organic turmeric powder.
3. Add coconut oil and coconut blossom.
4. Mix with a frother and enjoy.
Ginger Juice and Cinnamon Tea
Recipe by Jolene Caufield
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tbsp honey or agave syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp black pepper powder
- Splash of ginger juice
- 1 tbsp herbal tea powder or green tea
- Pour boiling water into a mug with the cinnamon.
- Add honey, lemon juice, black pepper powder, ginger juice, and herbal tea powder.
- Give it a quick stir.
- Strain the tea and sip it warm.
Make Cinnamon Tea At Home
Ready to enjoy one of these recipes at home this holiday season? Try our Organic Ground Cinnamon carefully sourced for the highest quality. It’s certified organic, non-GMO, and kosher — and of course, delicious.
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